Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Saturday 06 March 2021

Brighton Festival 2021 To Begin Safe Return For The Arts In The City From May

This year's Brighton Festival will return to the city with a celebration of art and culture from 1st May, extending across the whole month and possibly into June.
Credit Jamie MacMillian

The Festival programme will be launched online on Tuesday 30th March with returning guest director, the poet, author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE. 

Guest director Lemn Sissay said: 

"The last year has been incredibly challenging for so many people and in so many different ways. 

"We say the arts bring people together but we also mean that through the wonder of the arts our minds and hearts can come together. 

"We can use this exciting opportunity to shape Brighton Festival for audiences to enjoy however they choose, whether taking part at home on screen or at a socially distanced event. 

"I'm honoured to see where it will take us and to be with you to experience it together."

Brighton Festival is known for presenting artistic work in new and interesting ways and 2021 will continue to celebrate a wide range of artforms, from visual art and installation, classical to contemporary music, theatre and comedy, film and literature. 

Following the latest government guidance on when lockdown restrictions can be eased, events will take place online, in unusual outdoor pop-up locations and from 17 May, live performances will open for socially distanced audiences in venues across the city. 

Brighton Dome will host events with Covid-secure public safety measures approved by the Good to Go industry mark. 

The popular Children's Parade, which traditionally marks the opening day of the Festival, will be adapted to be an event without gathering, creating a visual spectacle on Brighton's streets for visitors to enjoy throughout the month. 

Community arts charity Same Sky has produced the event for over 30 years and will be offering schools and community groups alternative activities for children to make their own flags and artwork to honour the spirit of the event along the parade route in the city centre. 

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Festival said:

"Although the Festival will feel different from previous years, without the large groups of people coming together that we"re used to, we have been planning for a Festival full of beauty and fun that can still happen with social distancing in place. 

"We believe we can deliver a carefully managed, safe and responsible events programme that will help build confidence with our audiences to bring them back to what they love. 

"Lemn Sissay's artistic vision and the way he speaks to the things that really matter, feels even more relevant today and I'm delighted he has brought fresh inspiration and direction to this year"s programme. 

"Our thanks go to our principal funders, Arts Council England and Brighton & Hove City Council who we continue to work closely with on the latest guidance. 

"We are grateful for their steadfast support and belief that the arts can play a vital role in the city"s economic recovery. 

"Over the next few months, we'll be flexible in our planning and remain optimistic that with the public's help, the government's roadmap will stay on track and that the city can look forward to an arts and culture-led recovery."

Brighton Festival 2021 will launch on Tuesday 30th March 2021 at

by: Mike Cobley


Shooshh is arguably Brighton's most popular beach nightclub. The pandemic left the club and its team with the constant challenge of reinventing itself to adapt to new rules wherever it was possible in order to survive.

Africa in the Lounge returns for another series of concerts drawing on musical traditions from across Africa. The next shows will be streamed live on Youtube and Facebook from Ooosh! studios in Brighton, on 23 and 30 April.
Credit Erin Hambly

Drug Store Romeos formed at college in Farnborough when childhood friends Jonny and Charlie pinned an ad about finding a bassist for their new band to the school's notice board - Sarah replied and quickly proved herself a better vocalist than either of them.

Multi-award winning theatre ensemble Rhum and Clay are bringing their latest critically acclaimed production, The War Of The Worlds, to Worthing this May.

The Blind Cupid Shakespeare Company has teamed up with Brighton based project Quarantine Kids Storytime to produce short form audio dramas of Shakespeare's plays. The collaboration aims to deliver classical content made accessible to young audiences and those new to the Bard.

Philippe Cohen Solal (Gotan Project) and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) continue their audio, visual and digital exploration of America's most celebrated Outsider artist Henry Darger, with the next instalment of the project.

The registered arts charity Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival has received two grants to help the organisation recover and reopen over the next few months. 
Credit Jamie MacMillian

Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE took time out to explain what it's like to return for a second time as Guest Director, and what's in store for this year's very different, but as ever eclectic, Brighton Festival 2021.

Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has teamed up with solo artist and Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth to release the album Utopian Ashes. 

Kavanagh are the epitome of unsigned, DIY rock'n'roll. With a fearsome live reputation, they have won two national Battle of the Bands competitions and have toured the UK. Based in Brighton, they featured on the I Am Not Your Slave compilation album of unsigned talent from the South East. 
Credit Taylor Jewell

In the final weekend of lockdown, Charleston invites audiences to tune in online for a bite-sized version of the annual Charleston Festival.
Credit Holly Whitaker

Drawing influence from a wide range of eras and genres, Brighton-based troupe Genn have released new EP Liminal. From the opening bass ostinato of its first track Feel to the hooky refrain of closer Falling Out, through rock'n'roll, psychedelia and funked-up, post-punk vibes, Liminal is a veritable rollercoaster journey.

Brighton, today, became the first UK city to launch a multi-arts festival since lockdown. 

Quintet Junodream - who play The Prince Albert, Brighton, later this year - possess a rare flair for infusing their immediately compelling alt-rock with an abundance of creative sonic embellishments

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